November 10, 2002
ALL THE WAY WITH JFK:
Kerry set to move on '04 run
(Glen Johnson, 11/10/2002, Boston Globe)
Senator John F. Kerry will file a statement of candidacy for the presidency this month, according to a top aide, the first official step toward a campaign the senator believes can be won largely in northern states with an aggressive defense of Democratic ideals. [...]
A presidential campaign would be the fourth for a Massachusetts Democrat in the past 42 years, following a path trodden by John F. Kennedy in 1960, Edward M. Kennedy, who challenged Jimmy Carter in the primary elections in 1980, and Dukakis in 1988. [...]
Of the senator's possible opponents for the 2004 Democratic nomination, Kerry advisers believe that Al Gore, the former vice president, will not be able to bounce back from his loss in the 2000 campaign; Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and, to a lesser degree, Senator Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota will not have a rationale for winning the presidency after losing control of the House and Senate; and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina rests on a shaky base after Republicans won across his native South during the midterm elections.
Kerry staff members were heartened by pro-Kerry comments after Tuesday's elections, especially those by Kweisi Mfume, the NAACP president, who said Wednesday on ''The O'Reilly Factor,'' a Fox News program: ''I think the Democratic Party is going to embrace John Kerry of Massachusetts. I think he has the credentials, he has the leadership, he has the respect, he has the track record, but also you can't box him in a corner. You can't put him in the liberal corner, in the conservative corner, or anything else.''
Republicans appear poised to label Kerry as another tax-and-spend Democrat. ''Clearly he's against tax cuts. We're for them because we believe they stimulate the economy,'' said Mindy Tucker, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. ''It's for the voters to decide if raising their taxes is a way to make the economy better.''
Oddly enough the author has forgotten the most important figure to consider in all of this; Paul Tsongas
, the fifth Massachusetts Democrat to run for President and the third to win the NH primary. The fact that two candidates as weak as Dukakis and Tsongas won in NH, and that Ted Kennedy got just 10% less of the vote than incumbent President Jimmy Carter in 1980, suggests that John Kerry has to be the front-runner for 2004. In effect, Massachusetts politicians get to run as favorite sons here and they win.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 10, 2002 11:01 AM
Wouldn't Gore qualify as "someone as despiciable as Bill Clinton" who would go after Kerry the way that Clinton did? Sure Bill and Al hate each other now, and Al doesn't have Bill's litany of scandal, but Florida '00 and his idiotic speech at a Kathleen Kennedy Townsend rally show he'll do or say anything to win.
You know, he just may be that despicable by now.
How despicable is Gray Davis?
Orrin, you seem to be equating favorite in NH primary with favorite for the nomination. Isn't that a little parochial of you?
Kerry inspires less passion than Wonder bread. I think his wipeout comes well before the general election.
Considering the quicker pace of the primary schedule and that fellow Democrats may try holding each other to CFR, it seems like NH could be a big, big deal.
I would guess that whoever shows up in NH with the most money will win the Democrat nomination. That may well be Gray Davis, despite the fact that nobody knows who he is that side of the Mississippi. Which for Davis will be a good thing.
As for a wipeout, do you think Kerry has a shot at "beating" Mondale's effort?
I suspect Gray Davis's money-acquiring capability will diminish greatly henceforth. Everyone who contributes to him knows that the media will look at whatever favors they get from California state government and suggest corruption; and Davis is likely to be less generous to donors now that he's under the microscope. And he's no longer admired.
The only good thing for the Democrats is that since they have no message, they don't need money to get it out.
Not now that Mr. Mondale has lost an election in every state. But if Kerry were at the top of the ticket, where might he win other than CA, HI, DC, MA, NY, MD, and a very few others.
re: MA liberals
In some ways, MA politics at the local (not state-wide) level is a bit like the South was 15+ years ago; the Democrats' procedural hold on everything is so firm that a number of relatively conservative politicians who might be (centrist) Republicians in another state are Democrats. Despite it's nutty left wing, the right-most side of MA's Democrat party is larger than most.
Or So It Seems To Me. I could be wrong...
David Nyhan, a writer so pro-Democrat I stopped reading the Boston Globe (among other reasons) also has an article saying Kerry is all set for 2004. As a MA Republican I have long had a low opinion of Kerry.
I agee the rest of the field is weak and Kerry could get the nomination. I don't see how a liberal MA democrat (dems will try to portray him as a moderate) wins the election unless W loses support like his father which doesn't seem probable.
Hopefully a Kerry nomination will lead to a GOP trouncing of Dems in '04
mike -- You're right -- having lived in both Mass. and California, I can tell you that California Dems are far to the left of Mass Dems. In California, they are capable of anything.
But Kerry is not one of the conservative Dems. He's just one of the vapid Dems -- a handsomer Mike Dukakis.
Even then Bush would beat Kerry--recall that Clinton only got about 43% and he was a Southerner. But if Bush was in that bad a shape McCain would run and likely beat either.